Healthcare Business News

Presence Health finds buyer for Our Lady of the Resurrection, and other news

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: July 5, 2014 - 12:01 am ET

Presence Health has signed a letter of intent to sell Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago to Community First Healthcare of Illinois.

Presence, a Chicago-based hospital network and the largest Catholic hospital chain in the state, also announced plans to sell a Des Plaines, Ill., nursing home and a retirement center in Niles. Their buyer is Skokie, Ill.-based Glen Health and Home Management, according to a statement.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Presence hopes to close all the deals by the end of the year.

Presence, which has 12 hospitals, put Our Lady of the Resurrection on the market in March after saying financial losses there were unsustainable. In 2012, Our Lady of the Resurrection had a $12.5 million operating loss. That was followed in 2013 by a $9.8 million loss, which could double in 2014, Presence said in a statement in March.

Glen Health and Home Management has signed a letter of intent to buy Presence Ballard Rehabilitation, the Des Plaines skilled-nursing facility, and Presence St. Andrew Life Center, the Niles retirement facility.

The sales must be approved by state regulators to take effect.

For 2013, the Presence Health system reported a $61 million operating loss on $2.62 billion in total revenue, according to financial information provided to bond holders. Our Lady of the Resurrection is the third-smallest hospital in Presence's system and posted revenue of $111.7 million in 2013. —Kristen Schorsch, Crain's Chicago Business

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Five Missouri health systems form population health network

Five Missouri health systems, led by an academic medical center, have created a loose alliance focused on improving the health of the population and reducing costs along the way.

University of Missouri Health Care, a $706 million, four-hospital teaching system based in Columbia, will be the cornerstone of the group, Health Network of Missouri. The partnership, which is not a merger, is yet another example of health systems ironing out collaborative strategies without combining their balance sheets. The other four affiliates of Health Network of Missouri are Bothwell Regional Health Center, Sedalia; Capital Region Medical Center, Jefferson City; Hannibal (Mo.) Regional Healthcare System; and Lake Regional Health System, Osage Beach. Together, the five systems have 9,300 employees and about 1,000 employed and affiliated physicians.

Mitch Wasden, CEO and chief operating officer of University of Missouri Health Care, said that better care for area residents at a lower cost is the core of the arrangement. By sharing patient data and sending patients to the appropriate provider, the member hospitals believe costs across each organization will go down. The systems will not, however, seek contracts with Medicare or private insurers as an accountable care organization, he said. —Bob Herman

Follow Bob Herman on Twitter: @MHbherman

Illinois pushes ahead with Medicaid managed care

Facing a Jan. 1 deadline, Illinois' top Medicaid official has announced a timetable for moving hundreds of thousands of low-income patients into managed-care health plans.

Julie Hamos, director of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, said 1.7 million people will receive information in the mail by the end of the year outlining their health plan choices and giving an enrollment phone number.

The change affects Medicaid patients in about 30 counties in central and southwestern Illinois and in regions including Chicago, Rockford, Rock Island and Moline. Those who don't choose a plan will be assigned to one. Patients can switch during the first 90 days.

Illinois has lagged behind other states in adopting managed care, which pays insurers and health networks fixed per-patient fees instead of paying separately for every appointment, surgery and test. The goal is to reduce wasteful spending (See related story, p. 20).

A 2011 state law required expanding managed care to half the state's Medicaid patients by 2015. The Illinois Medicaid program now covers 3 million people with a budget of about $18 billion.

Managed-care plans are operated by private companies such as Aetna and hospital systems such as Advocate Health Care, based in Downers Grove, Ill. They'll benefit financially if they keep people healthy.

“We believe we still have a lot of work to do, alongside the state, to educate Medicaid enrollees about what it all means to them,” said Samantha Olds of the Illinois Association of Medicaid Health Plans, which represents nine health insurers with state Medicaid contracts. —Associated Press

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